Morganton dogs exposed to rabid raccoon, dog owner may have been exposed


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(GA) - Fannin County Environmental Health officials announced today that three Morganton dogs were exposed to a raccoon, which has now been confirmed as positive for rabies. The dogs' owner may have been exposed, as well.

Environmental Health Specialist Shannon Bradburn said a local veterinary office called him on December 10 to report they were treating three dogs for wounds received the day before in a fight with a raccoon at a residence on Old Dial Road in Morganton. The veterinary office advised that none of the dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations.

The dogs' owner had intervened in the fight by killing the raccoon, and in the process, the man received a cut to his hand.

Bradburn immediately arranged for the raccoon to be picked up and shipped to the state lab and was notified on December 11 that the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

*Consequently, the decision was made to have the three unvaccinated dogs euthanized and their owner has begun post rabies exposure treatment.

Additionally, Fannin County Environmental Health staff are canvassing the area near the Old Dial Road residence and are handing out pamphlets regarding actions to take in case of potential rabies exposure.

Rabies that goes untreated is fatal almost 100 percent of the time.

According to Raymond King, Director of Environmental Health for the North Georgia Health District, "Even the most trivial bite or scratch from a rabies-infected animal can transmit the rabies virus and warrants post exposure treatment; therefore, if you think it's even possible that exposure to a rabid animal has occurred to you or your pet, call your healthcare provider or veterinarian immediately."

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Flu is unwanted gift for the holidays

Dalton (GA) -The holiday season is here, and as long as flu viruses are spreading and sick-santa-300x225Don't exchange the flu during the holidays!
causing illness, you want to make sure it's not the flu you're exchanging with loved ones and friends for the holidays.

It's not too late to arm against the flu, and a flu shot can help provide protection.

According to the latest CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are currently increasing across the country. And since flu activity doesn't usually peak until February in the United States and can last as late as May, it is important for anyone who has not been vaccinated to get a shot now.

Flu vaccine is available at all county health departments in the North Georgia Health District, including Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. For office hours, call the health department nearest you (phone numbers are listed below) or log onto the North Georgia Health District website at and click on the 'Locations' tab.

In addition to protecting yourself against the flu by getting vaccinated, the Georgia Department of Public Health urges you to also wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid rubbing your eyes or nose with your hands, and cover your coughs and/or sneezes with a tissue or cough into your sleeve, not your hands.

If you do get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, reduce fever with a non-aspirin pain reliever, and stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others.

For more flu information, log onto

North Georgia Health District County Health Departments:
Cherokee: Canton (770) 345-7371 / Woodstock (770) 928-0133

Fannin (706) 632-3023           Gilmer (706) 635-4363           Murray (706) 695-4585

Pickens (706) 253-2821
         Whitfield (706) 279-9600


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